Friday, October 29, 2010

Colour Palette of the Month - November!

Colour Inspirations from Urban Landscapes

At the beginning of October I had a lovely week-end in London.  On the Saturday I wanted to go to the Tate Modern to see the Gaugan Exhibition and decided to walk along part of the Embankment to the Millenium Bridge.
Along the way I came across quite a few juxtapositions of old buildings and new buildings as you can see on the left.  This particular one really caught my eye with the "all glass" building that takes on an indigo colour in the background and the beautiful old building, with it's sand coloured brick and detailing stone work.
How lovely this colour palette would be in natural dyes and weave!  From the top I'd use indigo with an iron modification; indigo on it's own, but dipped several times to build up the deep blue; a very light, quick dip in indigo with a very quick and light modification with iron to get the blue grey; Oak Gall modified with citric acid; cutch.
Mm..... This has really got me thinking!  What about you, what would you use?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Workshop 2 at Flitwick

I had a great week-end in Flitwick with the rigid heddle weavers from UK Weavers on Ravelry.  I showed them Colour and Weave and even though some of them used some unusual yarns (to weaving) they still managed to produce some wonderful colour and weave patterns.

I showed them how to design their own Colour and Weave patterns to make their plain weave (tabby) truly exciting.  Take a look at just a few of the many patterns they designed and explored themselves, before warping their looms for a second time to weave an article of their choice in their own pattern!

Here's an interesting pattern using less blue than red and repeating the warp pattern in the weft.

This pretty design was originally in red and white but then the occasional green end was added the weaver decided to add green weft picks.

This weaver chose the lovely lilac and white with a wide colour and weave pattern and in her last swatch chose the odd dark blue end to lift the effect.

This pattern, like the others, was designed on paper before the loom was warped, so the weaver worked out the interesting line and dot pattern in advance.

This weavers was disappointed in her pattern, until we "finished" it!  Despite her yarn choice ("for practice purposes"!) she wove a really lovely pattern that this image doesn't do justice.  Her first choice of black and white was lifted with quite an electric green.

This was a really good example of how important "finishing" is as part of the weaving process!

Orange and grey lambswool was used by this weaver for all her beautiful colour and weave designs, before she added the brick red colour to add impact.

For her main project, she chose the same pattern, but with a golden yellow and grey with the brick red accent.

Although this weaver chose an acrylic yarn for her samples, she still produced a beautiful set of colour and weave designs, as you can see here, clearly shown in dark brown and white.

This interesting swatch used wool with a cotton effect yarn in the main swatches with a black effect yarn as an accent in one of her last swatches.  With careful "finishing" she prevented too much shrinkage of the wool, but wants to go on to explore the effect of shrinkage on yarns of differing fibre content.

Cotton was the choice her for this simple, but effective use of two shades of blue.  Later swatches used white to lift the whole effect.  It was really stunning.

Another very simple, but beautifully effective colour and weave pattern which was lifted by the injection of the soft peach yarn.

Well done to everyone who took part in the workshop, you worked hard over the week-end and were all very receptive to all my instructions and have a range of swatches for future use.

Oh, and a huge thank you to Jan for organising it and making my job so enjoyable!

Colour and Weave Design: A Practical Reference Book

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Brand New Website

I'm so excited, my new re-designed website has just gone live.  I'm really pleased with it, the design is so clean and fresh and now incorporates my blog, so I don't need the old Wordpress blog.  I've added an e-commerce shop so I can sell some of my products.

So with out further ado..................  Ta Da

Please let me know what you think!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And the Winner is............

As some of you will know I was shortlisted for Best Fabric Collection at the Northern Design Awards, 2010.   The other shortlisted companies were:

Best Fabric CollectionDesign Awards. The other shortlisted companies were:
We had a great night at the Grosvenor Hotel and Spa in Chester on Friday evening, starting with a champagne reception at 7pm, a wonderful meal from the Michelin Stared chef and the Awards Ceremony hosted by Nick Knowles of DIY SOS!
There were some wonderful winners in all the categories not least the Best Fabric Collection which was won by…..
Gallery 22 for their Need’k collection!
I’d like to congratulate Gallery 22 for being farsighted and retailing Need’k's wonderfully innovative collections.
I feel truly honoured to have been shortlisted with such wonderful manufacturing companies, since I am a designer maker hand weaving bespoke fabrics for my clients in my studio at home.  Needless to say, my designs are woven for my clients with just as much care, consideration and passion as the manufacturers and would like to feel that I provide a very high level of customer care, too.
Take a look at my shortlisted collection and if you are interested in my textiles you might like to look at my website, Alison Yule Textiles.  Please keep looking at my website over the next few weeks, it’s being radically updated and will have a small retail area where you will be able to by some one off pieces.

Friday, October 08, 2010


or How to Work Out Which Yarn to Use with Your Rigid Heddle Loom

I've been asked how to work out whether a yarn is suitable for weaving on a rigid heddle loom and have been trying to explain about wraps to the inch.  I decided it was much better to do this via this blog!

On the right is an image of a yarn wrapped round a stick (this could be a pencil or pen or even straight round the ruler!).  You should see that it's been loosely wound so that the yarn isn't stretched, which would make the yarn narrower and give a false number of wraps.  There are 14 wraps to the inch with this yarn.

If you take a cross section of a balanced plain weave you will see  there are equal numbers of warp thread to weft threads.  So with our 14 wraps every wrap would alternate as either a warp or weft thread, so we can safely say that half the wraps would be warps and half would be wefts.
That would make 7 warps and 7 wefts = 14 wraps.
Therefore with 7 warps (S) we could use a 7.5 epi reed, the nearest in number to our yarn.

If a very open and softly draping shawl was being made we could go for a 5 dent reed or if we wanted firm upholstery fabric we might use a 10 dent reed.   We work this out by taking the wraps number, in this case 14, and divide it by 2 to get the sett for a balanced plain weave, 7 (S) here.  To allow for extra drape we can decrease that number by 5 - 10%, here that would be 0.7 at 10% which is approx. 1 end.  Take this from 7 (S) to give 6 ends, and you will see that the nearest reed is the 5 dent reed.

If you are using a slippery yarn to make a scarf, decrease S by 5% for drape but increase by 20% for slipperiness, a net increase of 15%.
For upholstery fabric increase S by 15 - 20% and beat very hard to obtain a balanced cloth.

I hope this helps!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Colour Palette of the Month - October

Last month I took my daughter to University in Aberdeen, while there we visited the Winter Gardens, a series of Victorian glass houses in Duthie Park south of the city.
I love anthuriums, they are a recurring theme in my work.  They are such strong flowers, strong in form, shape and colour and are the inspiration for this months colour palette. I worked on this palette when we got back from Aberdeen and just before we went to exhibit at 100% Design.  By coincidence one of the strong colours at the show was magenta!
I hope you enjoy this palette with or without the green I’ve added as a contrast.

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